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OnePlus to announce OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, April 14 – CNET

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The OnePlus 7 Pro from 2019.


Angela Lang/CNET

Chinese phone maker OnePlus will announce its latest flagship phones for the year, known as the OnePlus 8 and the 8 Pro, on April 14. Known for selling premium Android phones at hundreds of dollars less than its competitors like Samsung and Google, OnePlus will unveil the devices through a digital event.

As follow-ups to the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro, the phones are confirmed to have 5G connectivity and 120Hz displays, a step up from 2019’s 90Hz screens. Because of these features, the phones are likely to be pricier than last year’s, something OnePlus CEO Pete Lau anticipated.

“We’ve always had a position in creating the best product possible at the best price point,” said Lau in a interview earlier this month. “The new technology does add costs so costs have risen in comparison to 4G products.”

Other rumors include a hole-punch screen for the front-facing camera, a Snapdragon 865 processor and a new teal color. A possible budget-minded variant called the OnePlus 8 Lite has been floated as well.

For more information, check back with CNET on April 14 as we will be covering the announcement and let us know if you’re planning to get a OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro.

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Spaced desks, one-way halls, voice technology — your post-COVID-19 office will look much different – National Post

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We may never go back (and what that means) is a collection of Post stories looking at the how the pandemic has changed the view of the office.

As Canadians gear up to return to work, employers are putting into place a wide range of safety protocols to protect their workplaces from the threat of COVID-19. 

As a result, offices in a post-pandemic world could look very different from before, experts say. And they might stay that way. 

“There’s going to be a forced evolution at the office,” said Evan Hardie, who researches the future of work at Canadian workplaces. 

Returning employees could see a host of changes, including spaced desks, personal lockers, voice-automated technology, staged areas for elevators and one-way hallways, Hardie said. They may also have to follow new protocols such as varying shifts, cleaning surfaces after usage, and wearing PPE to the office. 

Some employees may never return to the office again, Hardie said, as companies who have been forced to develop technology for remote work during the pandemic may not be able to afford the new cost of renovating their spaces. 

Yet all this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the traditional office tower, according to Lisa Fulford-Roy, vice president with Toronto commercial real estate giant CBRE. “I think this is going to shine a lens on how can we be smarter about the spaces we’re creating for people to occupy safely and healthily and productively,” she said.

PHYSICAL LAYOUT

According to experts, the biggest challenge for firms will be having to redesign spaces that have been in place for decades, to allow for physical and social distancing rules. 

Since the last economic downturn, companies have been following an open office trend, where “essentially everybody’s sitting really close to each other,” Hardie said, to allow for more communication. “I think we’re going to see a change there, where you’re going to have employees spaced out, they won’t maybe be facing each other in the office too.”

To maintain physical distancing rules, companies are considering spaced desks, one-way hallways, and the reconfiguration of common areas like kitchens, utility rooms and staging areas for elevators. Gensler, an American architecture firm, has released ‘ReRun,’ a tool which reconfigures your office’s existing floor plan to optimize physical distancing conditions, using computer algorithms. 


American architecture firm Gensler produced a graphic explaining how floor maps could be colour-coded to show the stages of re-entry.

Gensler

Under new set-ups, workers may also be asked to come into the office at different times and bring their own equipment.

“Keyboards, mice, headsets, those things are going to be personal accessories now,” said Hardie. “So you’ll have either a locker at the office that you can lock yourself or you’re hauling it back and forth every day.”

Many workplaces could follow in the path of major tech companies and restructure their work environments from headquarters to hubs. “Rather than having a head office where the majority of their workforce is in one central location, firms may opt for regional hubs,” Hardie said.

Christian Paquette, a labour employment lawyer, said he’s gotten many questions from companies. These range from how to implement policies on shared rooms, to the nitty gritty details around personal garbage bins, ventilation systems, eating utensils, and desired cubicle heights.

“I think, ironically, one challenge for employers might be that some may not have sufficient space anymore because of social distancing,” he said. “They may need to find more space in some cases, or put an emphasis on some parts of their workspaces and less on others.”

WORK POLICY

At the beginning of May, Paquette and a colleague released a list of key guidelines for employers looking to incorporate COVID-19 requirements into their work policies.

“There needs to be clear lines of communication,” said Paquette. The article recommended that employers form a “dedicated, multi-disciplinary team” to monitor the workplace reopening and conduct risk assessments; create a contingency plan in case of a shutdown; and open a communication channel keeping employees informed of the measures being put in place and any changes thereafter.

Employers also need to develop a procedure to address attendance issues and work refusals, such as those for “employees who are afraid to return or may face special circumstances” such as compromised immunity or child or elder care obligations.

Mohammad Abdoli-Eramaki, who teaches occupation health and safety at Ryerson University, emphasized the need for a system that monitors individuals, to identify those at risk of spreading the virus.

“The issue with COVID-19 is that it’s not identifiable,” he said, which in turn makes it difficult to determine certain hot spots in a workplace where exposure to the virus is increased. Ergo, “there should be a system in place where (the individual) monitors (themselves) … and if (they) don’t follow the policy, someone else does (monitor them).”

Paquette said it ultimately comes down to the level of risk each employer faces.

“For instance, (if) you have a proven outbreak in a work environment, that may justify different measures than an office space where people are not in close quarters (and) where other types of measures can really be put in place that are much less intrusive, like social distancing and self-reporting,” he said.

TECHNOLOGY

The pandemic has forced several workplaces to hastily upgrade and/or invest in technology to allow for people working remotely. On one hand, for those coming back to the office, employers might continue to make investments to keep the office accessible and safe, such as voice and automation technology.

“The ability to not have to touch everything in the office, to have technology that steps in, either through automation or through your voice, allows you to take your hands off a lot of things that you would have been touching in the past,” said Hardie. Companies looking to track employee movements could do so via keycard access, or by using technology that produces heat maps and monitors social distancing.


Canadian returning to work might use voice and automation technology to be able to access areas in the office without having to touch anything.

Gettsy Image

On the other hand, companies who have already invested in technology that supports remote work may find the additional investments too costly. “They may well say, okay we’ve made this major investment on ramping everybody up for home office, so maybe we’ll wait until we figure out a good plan of attack for the actual office itself’,” explained Hardie.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE OFFICE

For employers who have successfully adapted to working from home during the pandemic, there may no longer be a need for an office anymore, said Allison Cowan, director of capital of the Conference Board of Canada.

“They are seeing advantages in the long term, such as real estate savings, benefits from commuting, benefits for employee heath,” she said. Several large companies such as Twitter and Open Text have already asked staff to continue working remotely indefinitely, while others like BMO have confirmed they are looking into hybrid schemes that would combine the office with remote work opportunities.

For some companies, that might mean rethinking their current spaces, for others it might mean letting go of their leases entirely and opting for flexible alternatives, i.e., rentable co-working spaces.

Kevin Penstock is the CEO of The Profile, a Vancouver company that offers rental co-working spaces. He said he’s been receiving a lot of calls. “There’s no question (that demand for these spaces will go up),” he said. “People are going to try and figure out how to get all their staff in their offices downtown, half the people will be stuck at home, these companies are going to need this type of select space.”

Penstock has rolled out a multi-phased plan for the reopening of his spaces, which includes modified shared spaces (two-person tables instead of five), the phased return of members, physical distancing signage, health screenings and a new cleaning regimen.

The challenge, he said, will be catering to demand despite the limits on the number of people per shared space, as well as monitoring those who flout the rules. “We can ask people to start doing some shift work,” he said. “Then we’re going to have to start sharing the space in a way that’s a bit different than we’re used to.”

However, while the demand for traditional offices may go down, it won’t entirely disappear, according to Fulford-Roy of CBRE. That’s because people miss the social element that comes with working at an office.

“There may be subsets of employees or departments where (working remotely) might be suitable”, she said. “But I think, for the most part, we’re missing our colleagues, we’re missing the interaction.”

“It’s going to be less about changing the landscape of engagement and productivity. (Instead) it’s going to be a lens of how do we do that safely?”

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Uninstall these shady media editing Android apps right away to stop your data from being misused – Digital Information World

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Even though the world is moving towards the digital platforms in all aspects but the growth of digitalization also brings the risk of data breach and violations. There’s nothing scares more than your personal information being used without your consent and it’s not the first time Android app developers abused the permission granted by users.

Recent discovery by VPNpro reveals a new spyware app with over 100 million downloads on Google Play Store and the developer of this spyware app has some other shady apps with more than 50 million installs in the Play store.

According to the report by VPNpro, the developer of these apps masked the origins and technical abuses behind so many apps on Play Store.

Google has a history of pulling out the networks of apps that abuse the user permissions once installed. However, evaluating the right permission types for a developer or app is still a tricky job. And this is where some app creators try to play their dirty games by taking advantage of Android data permissions.

Even though Google always encourages developers to follow its guidelines but the abuse of user permissions should never be taken for granted as it puts millions of users at risk.

The developer blamed of spyware is Hangzhou-based QuVideoInc with its very popular app named VivaVideo. This free video editing app has more than 100 million installs on Play Store.

According to the reports by VPNpro, QuVideo has its three apps available on the Play Store and also on the Apple’s App Store but the violations of permission on iOS devices can’t happen so easily.

To operate, Viva Video asks a variety of permissions which include the ability of the app to write/read to external drives and user’s specific GPS location. This permission of GPS enables the app to send the location data of users up to 14,000 times in a day even if the app is not being used.

According to VPNpro, these types of apps have Trojans hidden inside the apps which can steal bank information of users without them even knowing it at all.

The report by VPNpro mapped out more than six apps by the same developer that needs to be used with caution and after analyzing these apps have more than 157 million installs on Google Play Store and the numbers of these apps are huge.

The following are the six apps by the same developer:

  • Tempo – Music Video Editor with Effects
  • SlidePlus – Photo Slideshow Maker
  • VivaCut – Pro Video Editor APP
  • VidStatus – Status Videos & Status Downloader
  • VivaVideo PRO Video Editor HD
  • VivaVideo

Until Google takes strict action against permission abuse, the users should stop using such apps to secure themselves from being a victim of such abuse but it is completely up to the users to decide if they want these malicious apps installed on their phones or not.



The only way to be secure from being a victim is by paying attention to the permissions you’re allowing to these apps and if any permission seems out of ordinary the best solution is to uninstall the app from your phone.

Read next: Google Play Store Removed Over 1K Creeperware Apps Back In 2019, And Now Some Are Making A Comeback

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New PS4 games must also run on PlayStation 5 from July, Sony tells devs – Eurogamer.net

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Sony has told PlayStation 4 game developers that any new titles submitted for certification must also be compatible with PlayStation 5, beginning 13th July.

This means all PS4 games received by Sony for testing after the middle of that month are technically forwards compatible – playable on Sony’s next-gen console – though it is up to each game’s developer to ensure this is the case.

Developer documentation – released on PlayStation’s internal Partner website and seen by Eurogamer – details an option developers must check to state their game has been tested for compatibility with PS5 hardware. This option was added at the end of April in a new version of Sony’s PS4 software developer kit.

Sony has told developers it will contact them individually with details on how to test PS5 compatibility, in the order of their various projects’ release.

Further documentation sheds light on what “compatibility” means. A game will be deemed compatible with PlayStation 5 only if its submission code runs without issues on Sony’s next-gen machine, and provides the same features on PS5 as it does on PS4.

So, for example, a developer couldn’t flag their game as PS5 compatible but not provide support for a certain mode on next-gen hardware.

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These developer notes also detail Sony’s rules for patches to existing games and remasters of previously-released titles.

If a game was originally submitted to Sony before 13th July 2020, any new patch or remaster after that date would not require PS5 compatibility, but it would be “strongly recommended”.

If a game was originally submitted to Sony after 13th July 2020, any future patch or remaster to that game would need to keep PS5 compatibility. Once a game is PS5 compatible, it must stay so.

It’s worth emphasising that all of this applies to games submitted to Sony after 13th July, which is not the same as anything released after that date. Submissions are generally made well in advance of release to ensure Sony’s certification team can approve the game in time.

For example, Sony’s own Ghost of Tshushima is released on 17th July but will have entered certification prior to the 13th July cut-off. It will not specifically need to be PlayStation 5 forwards-compatible. However, as one of PlayStation 4’s remaining flagship titles, it is certain to be supported on PlayStation 5 (and indeed, Eurogamer has separately heard this will be the case, alongside fellow upcoming exclusive The Last of Us 2).

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But it’s worth noting that while approved software has the technical capability to work across generations, Sony is yet to go into detail on how it will handle this in reality.

Many third-party publishers have already confirmed they will support Microsoft’s Smart Delivery method for cross-gen ownership on Xbox, designed to serve the best version of a game for the platform you are playing on. Ubisoft will use this to provide cross-gen ownership of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, as will CD Projekt Red with Cyberpunk 2077. (EA, meanwhile, has decided some of its games will have a limited-time “upgrade” window.)

As for previously-released games, Microsoft stated its intention a year ago to have Xbox One’s entire (non-Kinect) back catalogue working at the Series X launch, as well as all games from its existing Xbox 360 and original Xbox backwards compatibility program. And, as Microsoft revealed to Digital Foundry in March, it will provide this with improvements – such as the addition of HDR – automatically applied.

PlayStation is also working to ensure PS4 games run on PS5, though it previously said it would pass “issues which need adjustment” to developers to handle.

“We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. We’re currently evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to spot any issues that need adjustment from the original software developers,” PlayStation wrote back in March. “In his presentation, Mark Cerny provided a snapshot into the Top 100 most-played PS4 titles, demonstrating how well our backward compatibility efforts are going. We have already tested hundreds of titles and are preparing to test thousands more as we move toward launch. We will provide updates on backward compatibility, along with much more PS5 news, in the months ahead. Stay tuned!”

For everything else we know so far about Sony’s next console, we have a list of confirmed PS5 games and PS5 specs, plus what to expect from the DualSense controller.

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